Walk with Me
Walk with Me
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She is determined to do it all herself—and not fall in love.
- Workplace romance
- Instant Family
- Christian Romance
Three years ago, Paige Kelly had to leave college to take care of her five younger siblings after their parents’ death. She has no time for romance and even less interest in her new boss and his curiosity about her life. Getting attached would only mean getting hurt.
Russell Pierce just returned to his hometown to become manager of the country club. He never planned on an office romance, but he can’t stop thinking about his alluring restaurant manager with the weight of the world on her shoulders. He wants to help, but she wants nothing to do with him.
Paige can’t imagine starting a relationship with anyone, and Russell needs to focus on work. Despite their reluctance, their genuine connection and undeniable attraction grow harder to avoid when they collaborate on a new project, leaving them both to re-evaluate what they thought they wanted.
If you like sweet romance stories full of faith, family ties, and compelling storylines you’ll love Hannah Jo Abbott’s Faith and Love Series.
Read “Walk with Me” now and fall in love with the Kelly family!
Chapter One Look Inside
Chapter One Look Inside
Paige Kelly climbed into the driver’s seat of her ten- year-old minivan, shut the door and sighed a tired, heavy sigh. “Why do I even wear these shoes?” she asked herself out loud, pulling off the thin, black flats. “No support, and I’m on my feet all day. Ridiculous.” She pulled her long, chocolate brown hair out of the tight ponytail and let it fall around her shoulders. With her head leaned back on the cracked leather of the headrest, she closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths. It had been a long day at work waiting tables and she was thinking that a nap sounded pretty good. “No time for that,” she said with a mix of sadness and determination. She turned the key in the ignition, raised the volume on the radio, and started her drive home.
Paige had lived all of her twenty-two years in Pine Haven, Alabama. As a child she had made a game out of counting the number of cars that passed on a drive through town. Today she only saw seven on her way home. From work she wound around a country road before reaching Main Street.
The drive took her through the business part of town where several shops stood on either side of the two-lane road. Wide sidewalks allowed people to easily come and go to browse through the shops. Spring had always been her favorite season, a break from the cold of winter, but also a time of cool refreshment before the coming of the blazing southern summer heat. But Paige didn’t take time to notice the bits of green and yellow sprouting up from the ground while she hurried home. Just outside of town she turned down a narrow, paved road. The road was lined on either side by white, wooden rail fencing and a half a dozen houses dotted the neighborhood spread out over a few acres each. A few minutes later she pulled through the driveway and into the garage of a spacious, two-story, brick house.
Once the car was parked in the garage she stuck her shoes in her bag and walked through the door in her bare feet. Even though she was home from work, her day was barely half over. She hung her bag on the hook by the door. Paige didn’t bother changing out of her work uniform of black pants and a plain white button-up shirt, but walked through the laundry room straight to the kitchen. It was a large room with granite counters wrapped around the back corner and deep brown cabinets filling the space above. A large granite top island stood in the middle, and that’s where Paige got to work. She pulled an apron over her head and hummed to herself as she began to gather ingredients and place them on the counter. She stood on a step stool so her five foot, five inch frame could reach the top shelf of the pantry. She had just started opening a can of green beans when she heard the front door open and close and the sound of two pairs of feet running down the hallway.
“Hey, Paige!” came the loud greeting from eight-year-old Lucy. “Can we have a snack?”
“Yeah, can we have a snack?” asked Lucy’s twin brother, Joe. The two looked strikingly similar with their dark hair and blue eyes. Both kids wore jeans, simple T-shirts, and tennis shoes and carried backpacks over their shoulders.
“Yes, you can,” Paige answered matter-of-factly. “But first go wash your hands and let’s check your folders. Do you have homework tonight?”
“Yes,” said the girl.
“No,” said the boy at the same time.
Paige cocked her head and gave him a look that said he better tell her the truth.
“OK, yes.” He resigned as he shifted his weight back and forth from one foot to the other, “but I did most of it in class, I only have two problems left.”
Paige tried to hide the smile, but couldn’t help it. Joe was just too smart, “Alright then, snack and then homework before playtime, OK?”
“OK.” The twins agreed and hurried off.
Paige set her dinner preparation aside and began to cut an apple into slices. As she arranged it on two plates with some peanut butter, Joe and Lucy returned to the other side of the island from Paige where they sat on hightop barstools. She asked them about their day at school while they ate and pulled out their books. Once they were settled she turned her attention back to dinner while she helped Lucy with her math homework.
“Oh yeah, I almost forgot.” Lucy looked up from her paper and pushed her shoulder-length hair behind her ear. “I need you to sign my field trip form for Monday, we’re going to the strawberry patch, remember?”
“Of course, I remember.” Paige smiled. “Get me the form now before we forget.”
Lucy dug in her backpack as she spoke. “Paige?” “Yeah, Lu?”
“You’re going on the field trip with me this time, right?”
Paige looked at the younger girl. She remembered how disappointed she had been on the last field trip when Paige didn’t go. “Yes, I am. I promised I would,” she assured her.
“Yay!” Lucy said. “Amy said her mom goes on all the field trips and she asked me why my mom can’t come.”
Paige’s heart thudded, she cleared her throat to speak. “What did you tell her?”
“That my Mom and Daddy are gone to heaven.”
Paige swallowed hard so the tears wouldn’t have a chance to surface. Even though it had been three years, every mention of her parents still brought Paige to a complete halt and left a sickening feeling in her stomach. “That’s right, Lucy. But I promise, you can tell her your big sister will on your next field trip.”
Joe had been sitting quietly, but he was listening to Paige and Lucy. “I’m done with my homework now. Can I go play?” he asked.
Paige saw the hint of sadness in his eyes and nodded to him. “Me too.” Lucy said and hopped down from her stool. The two put away their papers and hung their backpacks on the assigned hooks in the entryway before going to their rooms to play.
Paige turned to put a dinner casserole in the oven then went to start a load of laundry. She made her way around the house straightening up as she went, picking up an out-of-place book or toy and putting it away. She stopped at the small desk to the side of the kitchen and looked over the family schedule and list for the next few days. She liked a place for everything, and everything in its place.